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Best ways to keep your graphics card cool?

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  • Graphics Cards
  • Graphics
  • Product
Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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July 16, 2010 1:27:43 AM

So I recently bought a Radeon 5850 (with some help of you fine folks :sol:  ) and it's been serving my gaming needs above and beyond the call of duty. But recently, I had some issues. I bought Empire: Total War and before I could even get into the game my monitor goes blank and my power supply gets REALLY loud. Like someone just put a box fan in my room and turned it on high. I had to force shut down the PC. This happened again. I figured it was just the game (E: TW has a few quirky things like that, apparently). But while playing Lord of the Rings Online, it happened again. Which is surprising because I've never had problems with it before today (I've been gaming on this 5850 for about 3 weeks now with no issues and everything as quiet as a church).

So I took the panel off and blew the case out and started E: TW again and no problems. After playing for a bout a half hour, I check PC Wizard and it said my card was at 69 degrees Celsius (and it fluctuates between that and 50 degrees). Is this a high temperature for a 5850? My power supply is a BFG 550 watt. Some would likely suggest a more powerful one, but the recommended for this card is 500 watts. And like I said, I never had any problems before today.

Unfortunately, my case is not as big as I'd like it to be and I don't see how it's possible to move to a larger case. Is that a simpler process than I'm thinking? I may be able to fit an after market fan in there for better air flow, though. Thanks in advanced.

More about : ways graphics card cool

July 16, 2010 3:32:26 AM

it's not high but you could always change the thermalpaste to mx3
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July 16, 2010 3:48:39 AM

Better thermal paste IF installed correctly can give you maybe 2-3c cooler.

I have a 92mm fan on top of my gfx card blowing towards the mobo and facing down at ~45 degrees. Thats the easiest and quickest way to add a little cooling.
There is also s/ware out there that lets you control fan speed, try crank that up a bit.
More extreme measures involve aftermarket heatsinks etc.
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July 16, 2010 5:23:30 AM

megagabobe1 said:
your temps are good, i could think the problem is the psu, maybe its not getting enough power to the card? i see that that power supply is not 80+ certified if im looking at the right one, http://www.amazon.com/BFG-BFGR550WGSPSU-550-Watt-Power-...


That is indeed my power supply. I bought it before I ever thought about getting a 5850 and I chose that one because it was on sale at Newegg for $40. Excuse my ignorance, but what is a 80+ certified power supply?
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July 16, 2010 5:29:52 AM

"80 PLUS is an initiative to promote more electrical energy efficient computer power supply units (PSU). It certifies products that have more than 80% energy efficiency at 20%, 50% and 100% of rated load, and a power factor of 0.9 or greater at 100% load. That is, PSUs that waste 20% or less electric energy as heat at the specified load levels, thus reducing electricity use and bills compared to less efficient PSUs."
-Wikipedia :D 

It's not just about saving on your electricity bill though. 80+ PSUs are more reliable, efficient and tested products. (There are usually classes within this like silver and gold, etc).
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a b U Graphics card
July 16, 2010 5:43:55 AM

The main thing about 80+ PSU's is that they allow you to know how much power you actually get without having to dig through the manufacturer's specs.
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July 16, 2010 9:31:12 AM

If you said that your PSU started getting really loud, thats because it can't handle the load that is being put on it. Because its not 80 Plus, when you use the new 5850, it draws more power than where your PSU is efficient, and thats when it starts getting really hot and hence the loud noise.

Tom's posted a great article explaining all about PSUs and how to choose one/know its size. I suggest you have a read through that before ditching yours or looking for a new PSU.

The reason that it only started happening after 3 weeks of use is because PSU wear out over time. If you've been running it above its efficiency level, than 3 weeks would be right in the timeframe when your PSU would give in.

Btw, your GPU temps are fine. Ive seen many 5850s run around 70'C+ when under load, so thats not your problem. Hope this helps :p 
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a c 302 U Graphics card
July 16, 2010 3:46:36 PM

As previous posters have suggested, your PSU may be marginal or failing. Or not.

When you took off the side panel and cleaned things out, and things got better, it suggests to me that case cooling may be an issue.
If you leave the side panel off and direct a house fan at the innards, do you still have problems? If not, then improving case cooling is in order.
What case do you have?
Size of a case is not as important as the airflow within it.
How is your cable management?
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July 16, 2010 5:28:26 PM

geofelt said:
As previous posters have suggested, your PSU may be marginal or failing. Or not.

When you took off the side panel and cleaned things out, and things got better, it suggests to me that case cooling may be an issue.
If you leave the side panel off and direct a house fan at the innards, do you still have problems? If not, then improving case cooling is in order.
What case do you have?
Size of a case is not as important as the airflow within it.
How is your cable management?


After I had the issues I described, I left the side panel off and was able to game all night with no problems. So I suspect it may be issues with my case. It is rather cramped (especially with the 5850 inside). What I think may be the problem is that the card is really close to the side panel and it's venting hot air from the side into that panel with no way of it being circulated. But thank you for posting that article. I'll give it a thorough reading. It won't hurt to upgrade my PSU, either I suppose. BFG has a life time warranty and an upgrade program so I'll look into that. Though I bought this PSU sometime in January so it's no more than 7 months old.

I'll post a pic of the inside of my case in a bit. Thanks all!
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July 16, 2010 7:19:26 PM

An embarrassing update...

I turned the PC on while looking inside the case and the same issue occurred. Only, I notice it's actually the graphics card making all the noise (I never knew a GFX card could be so loud lol). And then I noticed one of the 6 prong connectors was unplugged :sweat: 

How long it's been like that, I dunno. Hopefully that was the real issue. I'll fool around a bit and find out. :whistle: 
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a c 302 U Graphics card
July 17, 2010 8:33:27 PM

Quote:
u r a bigtime dumbo how ur pc even booted with ur card not getting enough juice.


Be nice; we all make mistakes.

I once thought I was wrong, but I was mistaken.

To the OP:
Can you use a slot cooler to help vent some of the graphics air? Something like this?
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
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April 19, 2012 1:18:06 AM

seeing temperatures like that even with on six pin undone i suggest u get a better heatsink like this: http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/ite... it is made entirely out of copper so the heat absorption will be alot higher

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leftytwoguns said:
So I recently bought a Radeon 5850 (with some help of you fine folks :sol:  ) and it's been serving my gaming needs above and beyond the call of duty. But recently, I had some issues. I bought Empire: Total War and before I could even get into the game my monitor goes blank and my power supply gets REALLY loud. Like someone just put a box fan in my room and turned it on high. I had to force shut down the PC. This happened again. I figured it was just the game (E: TW has a few quirky things like that, apparently). But while playing Lord of the Rings Online, it happened again. Which is surprising because I've never had problems with it before today (I've been gaming on this 5850 for about 3 weeks now with no issues and everything as quiet as a church).

So I took the panel off and blew the case out and started E: TW again and no problems. After playing for a bout a half hour, I check PC Wizard and it said my card was at 69 degrees Celsius (and it fluctuates between that and 50 degrees). Is this a high temperature for a 5850? My power supply is a BFG 550 watt. Some would likely suggest a more powerful one, but the recommended for this card is 500 watts. And like I said, I never had any problems before today.

Unfortunately, my case is not as big as I'd like it to be and I don't see how it's possible to move to a larger case. Is that a simpler process than I'm thinking? I may be able to fit an after market fan in there for better air flow, though. Thanks in advanced.
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!